More than 800,000 people suffer from a heart attack each year. In order to save lives, doctors have a short window of time to intervene.
The American Heart Association recommends a heart attack patient begin treatment no more than 90 minutes after they come through hospital doors.
Dr. Anthony Voelkel, a Cardiologist at Ascension St. Vincent in Evansville, told 44News, “The clock starts from the time the patient enters our hospital… Well we know that that heart attack started a long time before that.”
In most cases, a patient might call 911 and EMTs will arrive, assess the patient, and do an EKG. Once they transport the patient to the Emergency Department, they might spend 20-30 more minutes getting similar tests and evaluations done to diagnose a heart attack.
Now, an app called “E-Bridge is helping St. Vincent doctors cut that response time down significantly.
E-Bridge connects ambulance personnel with emergency service doctors before arriving at the hospital, which allows the patient to receive accurate, life-saving treatment sooner.
In the event of a heart attack, EMTs can now do an EKG on the suffering patient and send a photo of the results directly to emergency department doctors. From there, the results will be transferred to a cardiologist who will then diagnose the heart attack patient and have treatment ready to go when the patient arrives.
This new technology is already in place at Ascension St. Vincent and cardiologists at the hospital tell 44News that they’ve since received heart attack patients and had them on the operating table within 20 minutes.